1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
What it’s about: George Bailey thinks the world would be better off without him, until his guardian angel Clarence shows him the impact he has had on everyone.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because you, too, need to be shaken out of your Christmas funk, and the world is a better place with you in it.
2. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
What it’s about: Silent film star Don Lockwood makes the leap to talkies and falls in love with Kathy Selden, whose lovely voice replaces Don’s co-star’s.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because you can sing and dance along, even if the weather outside is frightful.
3. The Sound of Music (1965)
What it’s about: Would-be nun Maria leaves her Austrian convent to become governess to seven children, and falls in love with their widower father.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because you get that the power of music can overcome all obstacles, including Nazis. Also, because Julie Andrews is everyone’s favorite thing.
4. Grease (1978)
What it’s about: Good girl Sandy and bad boy Danny Zuko come together despite the odds in this musical set at Rydell High in 1958.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because you believe love crosses social divides when there’s singing, and life was a lot simpler back in the ’50s.
5. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
What it’s about: The title character decides to play hooky and goes on an adventure alongside his best friend Cameron and his girlfriend Sloane.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because you remember how much fun a day off can be, and you could use a little inspiration on how to make the most of it.
6. The Princess Bride (1987)
What it’s about: Buttercup is kidnapped by a pirate who turns out to be her long-lost love Westley, determined to save her from a marriage she doesn’t want.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because you also dream of being rescued from your boring life, and you’re old enough to appreciate a kissing book.
7. Big (1988)
What it’s about: When 12-year-old Josh Baskin wishes he were bigger, he’s transformed into a 30-year-old man, changing the lives of those around him.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because you haven’t forgotten what it’s like to be a kid, and dancing on a giant piano still looks like the most fun anyone could have.
8. Hairspray (1988)
What it’s about: Curvy teenager Tracy Turnblad dances her way onto a local American Bandstand-type TV show, where she fights against segregation.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because you have curves, too, and you know how to use them. And because nothing brings joy like big hair.
9. Cool Runnings (1993)
What it’s about: Four determined Jamaican athletes form the first Jamaican bobsled team and compete in the Winter Olympics.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because people have laughed at your dreams, too, and a little reggae always makes your soul feel whole.
10. Rudy (1993)
What it’s about: Rudy overcomes great odds, including financial woes and his short stature, to fulfill his dream of playing football at the University of Notre Dame.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because you know there’s more to you than meets the eye, and you love seeing the underdog carry the team to victory.
11. Groundhog Day (1993)
What it’s about: Arrogant TV weatherman Phil Connors is forced to relive Groundhog Day over and over again until he gets it right.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because you’ve always been intrigued by the concept of a do-over, and Phil does get it right eventually.
12. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
What it’s about: After he loses custody of his kids, Daniel Hillard dresses up as a nanny named Mrs. Doubtfire so that he can spend more time with them.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because it’s a great reminder that family is what you make of it, and you kind of feel like you were raised by Mrs. Doubtfire.
13. Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993)
What it’s about: Sister Mary Clarence (actually a Las Vegas performer) becomes a teacher at St. Francis School, where she inspires the troubled teens with music.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because no one can deny the power of a good inspirational teacher movie, and Christian music has never sounded funkier.
14. Babe (1995)
What it’s about: Babe is a pig who wants to be a sheepdog, a dream that is realized when his owner discovers Babe’s hidden talents.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because you know you don’t have to be what society expects you to be, and it’s an animal movie where the animal doesn’t die.
15. Matilda (1996)
What it’s about: Neglected by her parents, bright young Matilda Wormwood thrives as she finds the power within both books and herself.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because you remember being a voracious reader at an age when no one really got it, and magic powers are cool, too.
16. The Full Monty (1997)
What it’s about: Despite not looking like the traditional Chippendales dancers, six unemployed men form a male striptease act to raise money for one of the novice dancers’ son.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because you know that being sexy doesn’t mean looking the way everyone else does, and bromance is the reason for the season.
17. The Wedding Singer (1998)
What it’s about: Wedding singer Robbie Hart gets his life back on track after a broken engagement, falling in love with beautiful waitress Julia.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because you appreciate seeing a loser become a winner again, and there’s no better cure for the blues than ’80s music.
18. You’ve Got Mail (1998)
What it’s about: Indie bookstore owner Kathleen Kelly spars with mega-bookstore owner Joe Fox, without realizing he’s her beloved AOL pen pal.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because you’re certain the love of your life is out there somewhere, and it just might be the person who bugs you the most.
19. Galaxy Quest (1999)
What it’s about: The cast of the Star Trek-esque sci-fi series Galaxy Quest gets drawn into an actual intergalactic conflict by real aliens.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because even though you know the difference between fantasy and reality, you still like to pretend. And because the nerds get to save the day.
20. Bring It On (2000)
What it’s about: High-school cheerleading captain Torrance tries to lead her team to victory after learning that their cheers were stolen from rival team the East Compton Clovers.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because you know that sportsmanship trumps who wins or loses, and you’re dying to show off your spirit fingers.
21. Amélie (2001)
What it’s about: Shy and quirky waitress Amélie resolves to quietly help those around her, finding unexpected love in the process.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because you often feel like you’re in your own little world, and it’s heartwarming to watch someone equally odd connect with others.
22. Legally Blonde (2001)
What it’s about: Sorority girl Elle Woods shocks everyone by earning her law degree at Harvard and defending a fellow sorority alumna accused of murder.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because you, too, have been judged by your appearance, and you know that being smart doesn’t mean you can’t also be fashionable.
23. Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
What it’s about: Jess and Jules bond over a shared love of football (that’s soccer to you yanks) and overcome impediments to make it to the top of the league.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because your parents just don’t understand either, and it’s a sports movie that you don’t have to get sports to enjoy.
24. Finding Nemo (2003)
What it’s about: When his son Nemo gets lost, clownfish Martin travels across the sea with forgetful sidekick Dory to find him.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because you’d like to think that there is always someone out there who will find you, and no family reunion has ever made you cry more.
25. Love Actually (2003)
What it’s about: Ten interconnected stories show different kinds of love across the United Kingdom at Christmas.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because haters be damned, these stories make you believe in happy endings, and love actually (!) is all around.
26. Kinky Boots (2005)
What it’s about: Traditional shoemaker Charlie Price partners with drag queen Lola to save his family’s business by producing women’s boots that can support a man.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because you know the joy of letting your freak flag fly, and there is nothing more inspiring than the queering of “traditional” values.
27. Happy Feet (2006)
What it’s about: Mumble is an outcast among his fellow penguins until he finds a group of likeminded ones who appreciate his dance moves and vocal stylings.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because you can’t be glum while watching penguins dance, and it’s refreshing to see the weirdo get the applause.
28. Ratatouille (2007)
What it’s about: Remy the rat dreams of being a chef, and he partners up with hapless garbage boy Linguini to make both of their wishes come true.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because if rats can cook, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish.
29. Bridesmaids (2011)
What it’s about: With her best friend Lillian getting married, Annie has to step up to the plate as her maid of honor, competing with Lillian’s fancy new best friend Helen.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because you truly believe the friendships that matter can withstand the test of time. Also, because poop jokes will always be funny.
30. Pitch Perfect (2012)
What it’s about: An eclectic group of college outcasts strive for a cappella glory, while newbie Beca finds romance with a singer from a rival team.
Why it’ll cheer you up: Because a cappella can melt even the coldest heart, and the Bellas remind us that stars come in all shapes, sizes, and levels of awkwardness.
- A flash flood emergency has been issued Sunday in Charleston, South Carolina. More than 16 inches of rain fell in some areas. ›
- President Obama says the U.S. has launched a full investigation into the airstrikes that killed 22 people at a hospital in Afghanistan on Saturday. ›
- More than a dozen people were killed after severe storms and flooding swept through the French Riviera on Saturday evening. ›